Book Jacket

 

rank 963
word count 18328
date submitted 29.09.2008
date updated 30.08.2011
genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantas...
classification: moderate
incomplete

The House of Pendragon I: The Firebrand

Debra A. Kemp

Although sired by King Arthur, fate damns Lin to wear the slave-collar. Robbed of identity she clings to dignity until freedom restores her birthright.

 

Despite the collar marking her as a slave of Dunn na Carraice, young Lin is fiercely determined to retain her pride and keep her family intact. That dignity bears a price, for Lin has drawn the wrath of Modred, the youngest prince of Orkney. His single-minded quest to break strong-willed Lin--by any means necessary--nearly succeeds. Although Lin is accustomed to the death, disease, rape and famine that runs rampant in the slave hovel she calls home, it is when her beloved brother Dafydd is placed on the auction block that her warrior spirit becomes apparent to all who challenge her, and the shocking secret of her lineage is finally revealed.

FIREBRAND is complete and published through Amber Quill Press. Copies of FIREBRAND and its sequel, THE RECRUIT are available through Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1592798837/qid=1068418955/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-3366770-5261749#product-details

Thanks for all your interest!

 
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tags

abuse, arthurian, battle, book, britain, british history, camelot, celtic, celts, dark ages, excalibur, fiction, freedom, girl, historical, history, h...

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286 comments

 

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Lady Midnight wrote 1027 days ago

Hi Debra. Just read the opening chapter of The house of Pendragon and loved it. It’s obvious how much work and research has gone into this and I really appreciated that, since this is the type of story I love to read. I’ve left a few thoughts that I hope prove useful. Backed.
Pitch.
I was very impressed by the professionalism of your short and long pitches, the best I’ve seen so far.
Chapter 1
The opening paragraph is tight and focused, evoking the scene straight away. There were no excess words, each sentence doing its job of drawing the reader in.
...my half brother had driven a pike through Britain’s heart. Loved this. The painful emotions the MC’S feeling is summed up by this description, making it easy for the reader to empathise.
Nitpick: He cut me off almost curtly. It bordered on insubordination. (Anyone else)...This didn’t flow well for me, the sentence seems fractured. I kept wanting to read: It bordered on insubordination, would have been from anyone else.
Repetition: When the (tent) stopped spinning, I stood and made my way to the (tent’s) entrance. I don’t think you need the bracketed word, as the reader already knows they’re inside the infirmary tent. Just: When the tent stopped spinning, I stood and made my way to the entrance.
I will meet with you all... my (tent). Again the use of the same word in close proximity. Suggest replacing with: I will meet with you all... my quarters.
...I am having food sent round to my (tent). That word again. Suggest omitting it here and just having: ..I’m having food sent round. After all where else would the food be sent to? That being the case, no need to state it.
Exhausted, I sank onto the log serving as my chair. I threw the folds of my cloak off my shoulders... This whole paragraph is beautifully crafted. The tightness and focus, prevalent throughout this chapter makes this a wonderful read.
My last words tangled in my throat... fantastic alternative to: caught in my throat, or choked in my throat.
The paragraph beginning: By Toutatis... and ending: But that is the truth of war, is excellent. It’s filled with the character’s emotions and at the same time enables the reader to see what she saw.

aurorawatcher wrote 1036 days ago

Just starting with some comments. Your pitch is good, though you need a comma "Robbed of identity, (comma) she clings ...."

I like that you don't tell us that Lin is a female until quite a bit into the story. It shouldn't make a difference, but in the minds of many writers, a female warrior is seen as "less than", so I like the ambivalence. More coming later. It's summer here, so my attention is absorbed by the midnight sun.

Lauri

Wezzle wrote 1239 days ago

Debra, I can't add to the comments below. This is a fine piece of literature and it deserves to do well. good luck with it.

Daniel Manning wrote 1354 days ago

Linnie comes across as an enterprising women warrior with children in tow, and pregnant, yet wiling to do battle with the enemies of Pendragon. After a childhood in slavery in one of the most harshest places in the Britain, the Orkney islands, it's amazing she's so determined and confident. But in such a brutal time, even Linnie has to curse her gender, for being weak, but really she's strong.
Great writing because the subjectivity has rancour, sometimes subtle, and then full in the face, so it's hard to seperate the prose from the person or the person from the prose. Linnie being that person, living in those times, eating, sleeping, fighting and then wife and mother.
Backed with pleasure
Daniel Manning
No Compatibility.

Tod Schneider wrote 690 days ago

Very capable writing -- rally well put together. The voice and setting ring true. It's always good to see a strong female protagonist (I find the saccharine YA stuff hard to read). The only thing I found to pick on was toward the beginning, you might drop the phrase "like a pall" which seems redundant. Or keep it if you like it. Best of luck with this! And,
If kids lit appeals to you, I'd greatly appreciate you taking a look at my novel, The Lost Wink.
Thanks!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Writer in Red wrote 793 days ago

The first thing I noticed with the word "compleated" in the first paragraph. I think you mean "completed." I did not have trouble envisioning the battlefield though I was confused throughout the first chapter as to who the speaker was. There were clues to first make me believe the narrator was Arthur, but later on I felt it was not. Other characters lacked descriptions to help me visualize them. I became lost in a faceless void of people tired after a battle. Scene change happens very fast causing me to look back a paragraph to realize I am no longer here but there now. Not much appears to happen that entices me enough to continue reading. The scenes shift very quickly but the plot tends to linger behind waiting to catch up. Characters appear very one-dimensional with fixed emotions and set paths.

jrapilliard wrote 796 days ago

I have just backed your book. Will you return the favour and back mine, Penrose - Princess of Penrith?
If you do, many thanks. Best wishes, John

Marisa Elyse wrote 815 days ago

Read your first few chapters, and I must say that I am quickly drawn into the story. I do love female leads that are strong and will do anything to protect what they love. The descriptions and first person pov really add to the stroy, and I can't wait to read more.

Cheers,
Marisa
Tower of Paradise

Lady Midnight wrote 1027 days ago

Hi Debra. Just read the opening chapter of The house of Pendragon and loved it. It’s obvious how much work and research has gone into this and I really appreciated that, since this is the type of story I love to read. I’ve left a few thoughts that I hope prove useful. Backed.
Pitch.
I was very impressed by the professionalism of your short and long pitches, the best I’ve seen so far.
Chapter 1
The opening paragraph is tight and focused, evoking the scene straight away. There were no excess words, each sentence doing its job of drawing the reader in.
...my half brother had driven a pike through Britain’s heart. Loved this. The painful emotions the MC’S feeling is summed up by this description, making it easy for the reader to empathise.
Nitpick: He cut me off almost curtly. It bordered on insubordination. (Anyone else)...This didn’t flow well for me, the sentence seems fractured. I kept wanting to read: It bordered on insubordination, would have been from anyone else.
Repetition: When the (tent) stopped spinning, I stood and made my way to the (tent’s) entrance. I don’t think you need the bracketed word, as the reader already knows they’re inside the infirmary tent. Just: When the tent stopped spinning, I stood and made my way to the entrance.
I will meet with you all... my (tent). Again the use of the same word in close proximity. Suggest replacing with: I will meet with you all... my quarters.
...I am having food sent round to my (tent). That word again. Suggest omitting it here and just having: ..I’m having food sent round. After all where else would the food be sent to? That being the case, no need to state it.
Exhausted, I sank onto the log serving as my chair. I threw the folds of my cloak off my shoulders... This whole paragraph is beautifully crafted. The tightness and focus, prevalent throughout this chapter makes this a wonderful read.
My last words tangled in my throat... fantastic alternative to: caught in my throat, or choked in my throat.
The paragraph beginning: By Toutatis... and ending: But that is the truth of war, is excellent. It’s filled with the character’s emotions and at the same time enables the reader to see what she saw.

aurorawatcher wrote 1036 days ago

Just starting with some comments. Your pitch is good, though you need a comma "Robbed of identity, (comma) she clings ...."

I like that you don't tell us that Lin is a female until quite a bit into the story. It shouldn't make a difference, but in the minds of many writers, a female warrior is seen as "less than", so I like the ambivalence. More coming later. It's summer here, so my attention is absorbed by the midnight sun.

Lauri

aurorawatcher wrote 1041 days ago

Debra, I love the world you've built and the character you've created. I'm going to comment more later, but your chapters are long, so it's going to take me a while. I am truly impressed and wanted you to know that right away.

Lauri

JDHyman wrote 1047 days ago

Back me, I will back you! http://www.authonomy.com/books/34058/seven-days/

Red2u wrote 1052 days ago

Not sure why 3 chapters are under Chapter one but i did enjoy the descriptive writing. I have rated well and intend to come back for more.
Red

Red2u wrote 1052 days ago

Not sure why 3 chapters are under Chapter one but i did enjoy the descriptive writing. I have rated well and intend to come back for more.
Red

celticwriter wrote 1056 days ago

Hi Debra! Happily placing your book on my WL....will be rebacking soon.

Jim

Dilettante wrote 1094 days ago

Having chapter 3 as the synopsis certainly saves time reading.
Well written, good story.

kassandra.tate wrote 1156 days ago

i love this!!! you're such an amazing author! I can't descibe how much I'd like to write like you! You make my writing look like a kindergardener's work! I really hope this gets published...its amazing

Marion Bernard wrote 1160 days ago

Yeah! A well-written book! Definitely one for my bookshelf. I love the historical detail woven into the story and the light touch which brings your characters to life. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Marion
Distant Kin

DLDzioba wrote 1192 days ago

You've got awesome dialogue and the first chapter really pulled me in. I thought at first that the names would distract me, but after the first bit I really didn't notice them. Lovely read.

lucy.leid wrote 1197 days ago

I just read the first few chapters and I think everyone had already said the obvious - flows well, good descriptions and I love the concept. As you can see by my book, I loooove original re-tellings! I also love my Celtic history - I can tell you know your stuff, and know enough to stay away from clishes and stale material. Really good - I'd buy.

Pia wrote 1198 days ago

Debra -

The House of Pendragon - since I gave this story a full round of stars after the system changes I must have commented at some point. In any case, I lost myself in your brilliantly evoked world for the last hour or so. You paint the warrior atmosphere in apt detail, which brings this great historical time so much alive I could step into it. And there is Linny, an amazing character. It's a story I'd like to follow and wished I had as book in my hand. Any chance of this being published? Best success, Pia

Pretzki wrote 1228 days ago

I'm amazed that i like this, i so often shun the first person tales, but your work hides the "I's" well with your ability to not put us in your character but on his shoulder. I think you have a lot of talent.

Wezzle wrote 1239 days ago

Debra, I can't add to the comments below. This is a fine piece of literature and it deserves to do well. good luck with it.

cicuta wrote 1260 days ago

Dear Debra, your story is rich and rewarding, for those who love to get lost in a tale that has such significance on History. Women like Linnie, are a lost breed in today's materialistic society. I was sincerely lost in you languid style, of past Paramours and bravery that will forever be lost, if we don't learn more about it. This deserves to be published. Such a brave attempt to capture the constraints of another time. And you have managed it admirably. I am no critic Debra, but I am an avid reader, [ And a very proud Welshman ]. And I was more than impressed by your knowledge of the great Welsh Legend. Look forward to reading more, when you get it published. Take care, and I wish you all the best with your book. Cicuta, [ Carl, Arcane ].

missyfleming_22 wrote 1267 days ago

Just when I think I've found all the books I enjoyed before, I find another! Such a fun book and now, with the slower pace, I'm going to read more! On my WL to be shelved soon!

Missy

Carol Browne wrote 1269 days ago

This is so well-written and the prose is almost poetic at times. I have backed this book gladly. It is a book I would be happy to read to the end.

nsllee wrote 1276 days ago

Hi Debra

I read the first chapter and backed this some while ago and thought I'd come back to read the rest of what you've posted. It is consistent with the opening, very powerful, intense and convincing, through all the movements in time. I would love to read the story that is outlined in the synopsis and expect that this will reach a wide audience.

Nicole

CarolinaAl wrote 1277 days ago

This is an exceptional historical. Vivid characters. Realistic emotional friction. Well sketched period detail. Strikingly visual. Crisp dialogue that evokes the era. Riveting pacing. Tension mounts relentlessly. Well thought out, intriguing storyline. Spellbinding writing. A highly enjoyable read. Backed.

Jack Hughes wrote 1279 days ago

A hugely impressive story, driven by character and by richly detailed description. This is an easy book to get into and exceptionally well written. I think I backed it before but will do so again to be certain.

Backed with pleasure, best of luck.

Jack Hughes
Dawn of Shadows

Ron Mitchell wrote 1280 days ago

This is a very intriguing book that captures the heart of the reader. Best of luck with your future with this book. Backed with pleasure.
-author of December Gold

J.S.Watts wrote 1290 days ago

An impressive tale.

J.S.Watts
A DARKER MOON

Lara wrote 1315 days ago

I liked your dialogue, Debra, and the general tone picks up the unyielding environment of the novel's setting. I did long for some more extensive description after a while, a long paragraph here and there. Btw it's lying not laying (done or in or on) - I was interested in pillock as I assume this is an archaic version of the similar word used today?
Backed
Lara
Good for Him

Herschel Shirley wrote 1317 days ago

Very interesting story. You are talented. Backed.

Nancy Kilgore wrote 1321 days ago

Delicious story, Debra! I really enjoyed reading the beginning.
Nancy
SEA LEVEL

stoatsnest wrote 1321 days ago

What a lovely well told story. I remember watching Camelet with V. Redgrave, Franco Nero and Richard Harris, but was familiar with the stories long before. I have been to Wales recently and there are plenty of Gareths there. You don't put a foot wrong and write beautifully.

flower girl wrote 1323 days ago

This is an amazing story. I've always loved tales of Arthur and this didn't disappoint me. The story is well told and flows exceptionally well. The characters are so well drawn and the dialogue adds to the pace. Backed.

SubtleKnife wrote 1336 days ago

Superb - Lin's story is compelling and the writing excellent. Wish I had time to read on. Cheers! -Liz (Meggie Blackthorn)

Andy M. Potter wrote 1337 days ago

Debra, so many good things here. first person narration is difficult to pull off, and yet you've done a fine job. i'm an arthurian fan and have read many accounts of his life/times; this is fresh, inviting. the prose suits the era, yet it is clean and contemporary. kudos!
on my shelf.
no quibbles - at all.
very best wishes, andy

lisawb wrote 1340 days ago

A clever slant on Pendragon tales, this is clever and compelling. Linnie is so likeable and the historical detail enriches the story and creates an atmospheric feel. This is wonderful writing and deserves to do well. The characterisation is really good and the structure works well. There seems to be no constructive comment to make, the title and cover are excellent and well done for achieving this standard already.

Backed Lisa

Frank Calcagno wrote 1346 days ago

Debra,This is really well written. I will back it soon. You are very precise in your writting. One comment: in the first paragraph you have used "compleated". Unless this is a UK thing, I'd say it should be "completed." (Where do the English get off using English, anyway? If you're American, like me, let's continue the process as if there was an 'a' in it.) [It IS completed, right??]

name falied moderation wrote 1352 days ago

Dear Debra
this book is amazing, the book cover, the pitch ,all of your work here to create a worth while book is a success for me. Well crafted, characters that popped into my head and refuse to leave and a compelling story. CONGRATS i have not read it all , but PLEASE put more up so I can.
I will carry on reading and comment further on as I would like to get this book of yours backed to assist it on the climb to the top.
Backed for sure my me. ..I would really appreciate it if your would look at my book, COMMENT , and back it. If not that is OK also
The VERY best of luck with your book

Denise
The Letter

nsllee wrote 1352 days ago

Hi Debra

This is well-researched, convincing, gritty, with good use of colloquial yet distanced dialogue. Your heroine is admirable, your depiction of her situation and the milieu takes the reader straight into that world, and the narrative drives forward, the complexities drawn out with clarity. Backed.

Nicole
Chosen

Lisa Scullard wrote 1353 days ago

Tune for you, Debra ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jzn92Qmbqg

Amazing writing... I think I'm just going to throw away my dictionary now I've seen how words can be used...

All the best, Lisa (Death And The City)

Daniel Manning wrote 1354 days ago

Linnie comes across as an enterprising women warrior with children in tow, and pregnant, yet wiling to do battle with the enemies of Pendragon. After a childhood in slavery in one of the most harshest places in the Britain, the Orkney islands, it's amazing she's so determined and confident. But in such a brutal time, even Linnie has to curse her gender, for being weak, but really she's strong.
Great writing because the subjectivity has rancour, sometimes subtle, and then full in the face, so it's hard to seperate the prose from the person or the person from the prose. Linnie being that person, living in those times, eating, sleeping, fighting and then wife and mother.
Backed with pleasure
Daniel Manning
No Compatibility.

Gail_M wrote 1357 days ago

THE HOUSE OF PENDRAGON I: THE FIREBRAND

This is absolutely gorgeous. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but who doesn't love the Arthurian legend? You've breathed life into that world and its characters in a new and very engaging way. I've stopped reading, because I'm going to buy the book.

Backed with pleasure
Gail
NEW BEGINNINGS

TMNAGARAJAN wrote 1362 days ago

THE HOUSE of PENDRAGON...

The story flows like waterfall. The narrative style is superb; it enslaves the reader. Backed out of free will.

TMN
"NEVER LOSE..."

Owen Quinn wrote 1367 days ago

cracking pitch that gives a good idea of the story but this is not your typical Camelot story but gritty, real and dealing with issues that give this world and its characters depth and full characterisation. Backed with pleasure.

Bill Carrigan wrote 1370 days ago

Dear Debra, My own fond recollection of the Arthurian legends drew me into your "House of Pendragon," and I congratulate you on your recreation of the haunting gothic atmosphere. Your characters spring to life, and Lin's emotions as depicted couldn't be more realistic. My only suggestion is to find a seamless way to show earlier that the main character, a fierce warrior, is a woman and that Dafydd is her brother. I don't think you should depend on the book jacket or blurb to reveal this. That said, I'll back your fine novel for now and try to return when I have more time. Meanwhile, may I ask you to take a look at "The Doctor of Summitville," which, like your work, took many years to materialize. I believe you'd enjoy it. --Best of luck, Bill

delhui wrote 1372 days ago

Dear Debra --

Your pitch promised a new twist on the Arthurian tales, and your story fulfills the promise. It struck us that you pulled together many of the best elements from more modern Arthurian treatments (The Once and Future King, all the Marion Zimmer Bradley stories) and coupled them with both the somewhat less accessible historical stories (Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight about Arthur) and the history of the actual era. The ordinary people are often ignored (if not completely so) and we found your treatment of Lyn and Dafydd's lives educational and interesting. In what you've uploaded here, you seem to have found a good balance between the language of the time and the modern world's sensibilities. It's our pleasure to support The House of Pendragon I: The Firebrand. BACKED. -- Delhui, The Long Black Veil

SammySutton wrote 1376 days ago


I love King Arthur and all that implies!
Great Historical.
You have crafted quite a story,Good Job!
Love it!
Backed!
Sammy Sutton
King Solomon's '13'

Stafford and Melton wrote 1378 days ago

I haven't seen many Arthurian tales for the past couple years (perhaps I simply live under a rock), but I do love a good tale of knights and ladies fair. : ) This reminded me somewhat of The Once and Future King, the last of this genre I read (which was several years ago). From details you've dropped in here, you've obviously gone to the trouble to do your research; I appreciate your measures toward historical accuracy.

One thing that did jump out at me as jarring, which is rather minor as far as criticism goes, was the italicized "wfft" that started on of the paragraphs rather early on. I didn't understand what that was (a sound effect? And if so, for what?), and I thought it could be taken out entirely without any detraction from the story.

Otherwise, this is a mostly clean read, and fans of this genre should receive it well. : ) Backed!

~Amanda
Burns Like the Sun

ikraft wrote 1379 days ago

I like this - a unique twist on the traditional "slave-story" genre. Some very good images. I do think that the grammar needs work - one sentence that I just happen to remember was "my bath finished, I..." Use a semi-colon or two sentences.

Best Wishes,
Ian Kraft
(The Freel of Streel)

tisseurdecontes wrote 1380 days ago

This is exceptionally well written with attention to detail. The dialog is crisp and in character. You have clearly researched your subject. You do a great job of concealing the fact that the main character is a woman until near the end of the first chapter. Because of that, I wonder if there is some way to rework your pitch (if this is to go on the back cover of the book). It seems a shame that the reader would be aware before starting to read that the main character is a woman, especially since you have done such a good job of concealing that fact for most of chapter 1.

You have a winner here.

Steven Lloyd
THE AUDACITY OF HOPE AND CHANGE

Giotto wrote 1383 days ago

This is not really my area of expertise or interest, but returning the favour. I wish you success with this. Best regards